One student made his passion for breakdancing a club and after a year of dedication, the club is getting credit for their skill and making history at Pacific.
With pressure to start the club from a friend, junior Michael Furuya gave it a shot last year and held the first practice for Pacific University’s Hip-Hop Club. Initiating the club on his own, Furuya has stuck with it over the past year. While it started slow, participation has grown and the club is gaining recognition.
“It’s been a success so far,” said Furuya.
As it stands, the Hip-Hop Club consists of more community members from Forest Grove than Pacific students. Averaging about eight people every practice, the club is being more notable with their visibility.
“We are trying to get more students involved,” said Furuya. “So we are putting on more performances like at the halftime show.”
While men’s basketball prepped for their second half against Whitworth, the Hip-Hop Club performed. This was the first time having a breakdancing show in Pacific’s history.
“It was a team effort,” said Furuya.
He said they work together and complement each other during performances.
Furuya wants to continue making a name for the Hip-Hop Club.
The club is going to compete against other students in Pacific’s Got Talent on Feb. 25. Along with those official performances, Furuya said he would like to start an impromptu breakdancing session in the U.C.
All these ideas are intended to bring the Hip-Hop Club into the open with the rest of the student body at Pacific.
“The best part of this year has been that we are more recognized than last year,” said Furuya. “We get more opportunities to do more shows which gets our name around.”
For Furuya, breakdancing is important, but there is also a big difference between sports and breakdancing.
“With breakdancing I feel like you can really be free,” said Furuya. “You can express yourself in dance while using your athletic abilities.”
Furuya also plays tennis, but said that while he enjoys that sport, with breakdancing he can really engage with it.
Other members are also involved in other sports at Pacific. Freshman Michael Ching is a member of the Hip-Hop Club as well as POM Squad. Freshman Sean Tachibana also shuffles and can do “crazy backflips,” said Furuya.
“What we do is mainly breakdancing as a part of hip-hop,” said Furuya. “Our performances are breakdance-based.”
But breakdancing differs in the preparation itself. Practices are fun more than anything, said Furuya. There is also no need for excruciating routines.
The club has competed together in battles three times in Portland since November. The club came in the top 16 in their last two battles. Furuya said his personal goals are to always advance to the quarterfinals whether he is competing in a battle alone or with the club. While the club is spreading its performances past Washington County, it is still working toward solid membership.
Overall, the numbers of students and community members from Forest Grove attending practices are “pretty inconsistent,” said Furuya. He said his biggest goal is to keep the interest in breakdancing high.
“I don’t care who comes,” said Furuya. “I don’t judge who comes as long as they’re committed.”
Furuya said he wants the club to become something bigger on campus.